Glasgow University Union celebrates 30 years of world-class debating

Glasgow University Union has marked the 30th anniversary of the world debating championships by inviting some of its most distinguished alumni to tackle the hottest of current political potatoes.

The students' union, whose roll of honour includes two former Liberal Democrat leaders and Scotland's original First Minister, Donald Dewar, staged a debate on whether Scotland would be better off independent.

The range of debating styles veered from the flamboyant to the forensic, but all speeches were delivered with the institution's characteristic vigour and outrageous self-confidence.

Former SNP MSP Duncan Hamilton, a former winner of the World Universities Debating Championship, was chosen as the night's best speaker.

But his performance was not enough to sway the judges, who gave the overall result to the team arguing in favour of the United Kingdom.

Perhaps the final verdict should go to another Scottish institution, World Cup football commentator Archie Macpherson, who told STV News: "I hope if we're going to have in the next couple of years arguments and disputes about this that it's done with the same civilised and humorous approach."

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